JOON – Air France marketing & PR hits a new level of cringeworthy verbiage


JOON, once known as Air France KLM’s BOOST project isn’t going to be a low cost airline.

Targeted at millennials, which if you don’t fully grasp what one of those is, means anyone who turned 18 in the year 2000 and will turn 18 in the year 2018, so the vital 18-36 year olds market with the highest disposable income and inclination to travel.

Air France said the new airline “provides a complete, innovative and offbeat experience to those who believe travel extends beyond the aircraft”.

Ehh? So most of us get on an aircraft and think that’s travel? Most people get on an aircraft and think it’s a coach with wings, it’s the destination that matters, not the journey. Flying as an offbeat experience? What are they going to do? Have wicker seats and bamboo trays while cabin crew walk the aisles in grass skirts?

The airline’s parent company Air France-KLM seeks to “improve productivity and reduce costs, while tackling competition from Gulf carriers”. How is appealing to millennials alone going to combat competition from Gulf carriers? It’s service levels, seat quality and price – the real value of the product, that’s what makes the Gulf carriers so competitive.

JOON plans to have ten long-haul aircraft by 2020, the new airline will focus in the first instance, on medium-haul routes from Paris CDG, with long-haul to be added from 2018.

Joon will not be a low-cost airline as it will offer original products and services that reflect those of Air France,” the airline said.

So, Air France, but cheaper? Is that it? Original products? Like what? Cheaper seats, more bolt ons, carry on only? Cheaper premium economy (i.e. economy seats with more leg room and a free sandwich)? The illusion of something for nothing? What can you do that hasn’t been done? In the end it’s just an aeroplane with seats, and if you want to charge less it means you millennials are going to get less.

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Joon is a lifestyle brand and a state of mind. Short, punchy and international, the name Joon is designed to address a worldwide audience.”

Now we’re entering the pure PR marketing garbage speak at the highest level. A state of mind? Please, are we to start saying we’re feeling JOONed? Short, true. Punchy, maybe. International? The word means nothing, that’s what they mean, so any language can remember it.

Jean-Michel Mathieu, who has spent most of his career with Air France and the wider group including roles in revenue management and customer relations, has been named CEO of the new airline. Clearly he knows this is just a bag of marketing bull shit or he’s so corporately brain washed he believes it’s true.

The creation of a new airline is a historic moment in many ways,” said Franck Terner, CEO of Air France. “Joon is another step in the deployment of the Trust Together strategic project. Its creation will improve the profitability of the Air France Group, enabling it to reduce its costs and ensure the sustainability of its business model.”

In other words, mind numbing marketing drivel aside. “Air France is too expensive and this might let us get back some market share”. So, it’s all about making a profit then? Good, about time.

I’m all for diversification in airlines, and a bit of imagination, but this sort of bull really isn’t going to get anyone flying. Well priced, easy to understand flights and destinations people want to go to, that sells flights, not nebulous verbiage that makes no sense to anyone except the marketing team at the ad agency.